Embrace digital signatures and simplify your Real Estate Business. What is the longest period of time you’ve waited after getting the call that an owner has accepted an offer until actually getting the ink on the paper and closing the deal? For many Real Estate Agents, the final days of waiting once you’re in the homestretch can seem like the longest. What if you could email the paperwork over to your clients immediately with the good news and get their signatures back within minutes? That is now the reality for REALTORS® who have embraced digital signatures as part of their arsenal of real estate tools. What are digital signatures? Digital signatures are an efficient, incredibly secure method for clients to sign documents from anywhere using their phones or computers. That means there is no longer a need to align schedules or set up unnecessary meetings, all without compromising security or legality.
At PrimoAgents, we highly recommend DocuSign, a global leader in e-signature technology and the official provider of electronic signature services for the National Association of REALTORS® and its REALTOR Benefits® Program. There are also many other reputable services to choose from, including HelloSign, RightSignature, and Sertifi, each with their own strengths. We encourage you to explore your options and choose the one that best matches your own needs and preferences. Whatever service you decide to go with, the benefits are hard to ignore. Below, we’ll outline some of the reasons why you should accept digital signatures from your clients.
We’ve already touched on this somewhat, but the time saving benefits of accepting digital signatures cannot be stressed enough! Time—both yours and your clients’—is invaluable and DocuSign reports that “more than 64% of documents are completed within one hour” on their Global Trust Network. How is that for turnaround time? There is simply no comparison to the time spent on traditional signings. It’s also worth pointing out that digital signatures are a particularly elegant and efficient solution for documents which require signatures from multiple parties. Most digital signature services will allow you to specify the order the document is sent to various parties and set notifications for each stage of the process until it is complete. With all the clients and paperwork you have to juggle, the less time you have to spend setting up meetings and chasing signatures means you’ll have more time to focus on the truly important stuff. Of course, your clients will appreciate the time you’ve saved them as well.
There is no getting around the fact that we now live in a mobile world, and people have become accustomed to conducting all sorts of personal and professional business from computers and phones. So once you’ve finally gotten a confirmation that an offer has been accepted, you shouldn’t have to worry if your clients are vacationing on an island or out in the woods and won’t have access to a printer, scanner, or fax for another week. This is simply no longer an issue if you accept digital signatures. Your clients can pull up the paperwork from wherever they are, on whatever device they happen to have handy, and send it back to you signed and ready to go in no time. The more accessible your paperwork is, the more easy and stress-free the entire process will be, both for you and for your clients.
Your clients can order dinner, schedule a meeting, and initiate their bank transfers from their smart phone. So why shouldn’t they be able to handle their real estate paperwork in exactly the same way? After all, people no longer want to perform transactions on mobile, they already assume that they will be able to. Consider that more than 200 million users and 300,000 companies—including most leading financial services and insurance carriers—already use DocuSign. By keeping up with trends in industries beyond just real estate, you will not only save you and clients time and make for a more efficient signing process, you also signal to your clients that you are a modern, innovative agent who is receptive to new ideas and technology that might enhance their experience. Show your clients that you are not stuck in old routines simply because they are familiar, but that you’re a forward-thinking business person with their best interest in mind, always.
It’s ironic that security concerns are often the one thing holding some people back from accepting digital signatures, because security is actually one of the greatest benefits of digital signatures! Digital signatures services like DocuSign use Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI for short. PKI is an approved standard format which creates both a public and private key which are affixed to every signature. What does that mean to users like you? It guarantees the validity of the signature on your documents—if the signature has been tampered with or altered in any way, these keys ensure the signature will be no longer valid. Think of your digital signature as an online fingerprint, each one is unique and identifiable. Considering the paperwork you share with your clients is often the most important documents they’ll ever sign, being able to guarantee them maximum security can only be a huge plus. And yes, digital signatures are legally binding and recognized by the Canadian government, as well as in the US, the UK, the EU and many other countries. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) recognizing their legality was passed nearly two decades ago in 2001, a year after the similar ESIGN Act was passed in the US.
It may not seem like much, but every penny adds up, and every step a business can make towards going fully paperless is a financially smart move. When you start to consider the amount of money agencies spend on paper, ink, printers, scanners, and yes, even fax machines—not to mention the incremental costs of gas and travel to arrange in-person signings and the invaluable time lost that could be spent prospecting new deals—you realize just how significant your savings could be. Anytime you see an opportunity to cut costs while improving an experience at the same time, you should act fast because this decision is a win/win for everyone involved.
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